David Vest

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David Vest, Camp Susque’s Program Director, started as Year Round Staff in 2020. Having been a counselor in 2012 and serving in various seasonal roles since then, including Trek Leader and Staff in Training Director, David is no stranger to camp culture.  Add to that his experience as a high school music teacher for 5 years, he is ideally suited to serve as Susque’s Program Director.

His love for music has even taken him to places like Dublin, Ireland, where he has been known to walk around the city singing (and having the sheer joy of citizens of Dublin joining in)! He has always loved music. In fact, when David was a kid, he didn’t get in trouble much except for when he would sing during class. When he was 11, he started teaching himself how to play guitar and has played ever since. His skill in music and his love for Community and Creation makes him the ideal person to lead worship at so many of Susque’s events.

In addition to leading worship, David directs programs in a variety of ways throughout the year, including things like organizing or purchasing equipment, running Youth Summits, directing winter camps, attending college fairs to recruit summer staff, recording/editing podcasts, doing teambuilding with retreat and rental groups, teaching SOD classes, interviewing potential staff, training summer staff, overseeing summer camps/wilderness trips, meeting with summer leadership, or singing a silly song around a campfire.

When David isn’t directing programs at Susque, you may find him catching up from all his lost sleep thanks to early mornings and (occasional) late nights. One day you may even find him traveling around Europe with his wife, something that’s on his bucket list! David has a heart for family and finds it his perfect day off when he gets to drink coffee, read, and converse with his wife, Cynthia, and play with his two children, Josiah and Aravis.

What year did you start at Camp Susque?

2012 as a counselor, 2020 full time

What kind of experience do you have in your field?

I have served in various seasonal roles at Camp Susque most summers since 2012 including counselor, trek leader, and staff in training director. Prior to starting as program director, I was a high school music teacher for five years.

What kind of schooling do you have?

Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Mansfield University.

Where were you born and raised?

Born in Erie, PA but raised in Northeastern PA.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I had a chance to see and touch 500 year old book when I was 13 years old as part of the research for a history project.

What was your first job?

My very first job didn’t work out after like three days. Besides that, counselor at Camp Susque!

Describe your perfect day off?

Drinking coffee and conversing with my wife, reading, and playing with my kids.

Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?

Dublin, Ireland. (In most cities, people look at you funny if you walk around singing. In Dublin, they joined in.)

What’s one thing on your bucket list that you’d love to do?

Travel around Europe with my wife.

What is your favorite Scripture?

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

What is your favorite area at Camp Susque?

Lookout

What is the story behind your fun photo prop?

I’ve always loved music. As a kid I didn’t get in trouble much except for when I would sing during class. When I was eleven I started teaching myself how to play guitar and have played ever since.

Describe your job at Camp Susque in a nutshell, and what is your favorite day in the life of your job?

As Program Director, I direct programs. Which is sufficiently vague that no one really knows how I spend my time. Depending on the time of year, I may be organizing or purchasing equipment, running Youth Summits, directing winter camps, attending college fairs to recruit summer staff, recording/editing podcasts, doing teambuilding with retreat and rental groups, teaching SOD classes, interviewing potential staff, training summer staff, overseeing summer camps/wilderness trips, leading worship, meeting with summer leadership, or singing a silly song around a campfire. Since there’s such a diverse list of roles I get to fill it is hard to outline just one favorite day. My favorite part of the day in the summer is staff prayer first thing every morning.

What are you good at? 

Making music.

What challenges you?

The most challenging part of my job is lost sleep thanks to early mornings and (occasional) late nights.

What is your favorite camp memory as a child?

I never went to camp as a kid.

When did you become a Christian?

I grew up attending church, but didn’t truly surrender my life to Jesus until I was about 14.

General Camp Info

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Financial Accountability

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Educational Programs Overview

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Field Trips Overview

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Susque Podcast

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Annual 5k through Susque's property

Youth Summit

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Weekend getaway for intentional family time.

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